Characters Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
Characters ↠ Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? 108 ☆ This book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies the origins of early Israel For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel but recently sOvered in the heartland of what would later become the biblical nation of Israel According to Dever the authentic ancestors of the Israelite peoples were most likely Canaanites together with some pastoral nomads and small groups of Semitic slaves escaping from Egypt who through the long cultural and socioeconomic struggles recounted in the book of Judges managed to forge a new agrarian communitarian and monotheistic society Written in an engaging accessible style and featuring fifty photographs that help bring the archaeological record to life this book provides an authoritative statement on the origins of ancient Israel and promises to reinvigorate discussion about the historicity of the biblical tradition ?. Excellent exploration of the stories of early Israel its exodus and its conuest of Canaan Using the most up to date archaeology at the time of writing 2002 03 Dever shows that both the exodus and the conuest are mythology Many scholars agree that the ancestors of Israel were always present in the land of CanaanPalestine They did not migrate there from Egypt or some other location Dever cites many of his colleagues and shows where they agree and disagree But almost everyone is on board with the early bible stories being myths
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Ists who characterize biblical literature as pious propaganda and the conservatives who are afraid to even uestion its factuality Attempting to break through this impasse Dever draws on thirty years of archaeological fieldwork in the Near East amassing a wide range of hard evidence for his own compelling view of the development of Israelite history In his search for the actual circumstances of Israel's emergence in Canaan Dever reevaluates the Exodus Conuest traditions in the books of Exodus Numbers Joshua Judges and 1 2 Samuel in the light of well documented archaeological evidence from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age Among this important evidence are some 300 small agricultural villages recently disc. Warning spoilers aheadDever takes a middle of the road approach to the history of the early Israelites On one extreme are the fundamentalists that say that everything in the Bible is 100% historical something easily disprovable all you have to do is actually read the Bible while on the other extreme are the scholars who teach that there never were any Israelites whatsoever Dever looks at the archaeological evidence and shows in this book where the Biblical text converges with the evidence in the ground There are places where the archaeological evidence and the text meet The Amarna letters demonstrate that the Canaanite cities were having trouble with the Apiru or the Habiru Could the Proto Israelites be this group of Habiru PerhapsDever mentions the Merneptah Stele 1201 BCE and says this is the earliest reference to Israel outside the Hebrew Bible indeed the earliest anywhere p 202 He discusses the idea that the Israelites were land reformers that they sought social justice a place where everyone could work the land where they would be free from oppression He used the texts as well as the evidence from archaeology to make his points see chapter 10 Another attempt at synthesis Early Israel as a Frontier Agrarian Reform MovementDever agrees with much of the scholarship that Israel came out of Canaanite culture This is a difficult assertion for literalists But Dever uses the evidence that he has to show that much of the archaeology of the land of Canaan demonstrates not a violent takeover from outsiders but a gradual population growth in the hill country of Israel with evidence that these people have a Canaanite background We see this even with the names of their deities in the text of the Bible itself so it is a point of contact to see this reflected in the artifacts found in the groundDever leaves the door open for the Exodus or something like it to have occurred In this regard he reads much like Richard Friedman the Exodus may have happened but it certainly did not happen the way it is described in Exodus The numbers just don't add up and the evidence is just not there But the idea of liberation of slaves exercising their faith in Yahweh to deliver them is something that I choose to believe and something that both Friedman and Dever seem to suggest may have still been possible One thing is certain archaeology will never prove the Bible to be true Much of what we read we must choose to take on faith Dever engages both the mind and the heart in the last chapter entitled Salvaging the Biblical Tradition He writes Most of us came to our Promised Land from the ghettoes of Eastern Europe as slave from Africa as refugees from Asia or over the fence from Mexico My ancestors for instance came over from Ireland during the potato famine in the 1840's Yet we can all resonate with the Exodus story because we instinctively recognize that it is a metaphor for liberation one of universal and timeless appeal Originally told thousands of years ago by and about a small and obscure immigrant group within the society of early Israelite peoples and based in all likelihood on some actual historical experience of some of them in Egypt perhaps the House of Joseph characterized above the Exodus story eventually came ot be told as though it had been true for all Israel And this accounts for its enduring place in the literary traditions that found their final expression in the Hebrew Bible p 234
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Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come FromThis book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies the origins of early Israel For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel but recently some historians and archaeologists have uestioned the reality of Israel as it is described in biblical literature In Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From William Dever explores the continuing controversies regarding the true nature of ancient Israel and presents the archaeological evidence for assessing the accuracy of the well known Bible stories Confronting the range of current scholarly interpretations seriously and dispassionately Dever rejects both the revision. Using the lack of historical or archaeological evidence of the Exodus along with the archaeological evidence that over forty of the towns that were supposedly destroyed by the invading Israelites didn’t exist at the end of the Bronze Age Dever gives an objective and plausible response to that uestionThe book is clearly and succinctly written Starting with the story of the Exodus to the conuest of Transjordan to the final takeover of Canaan the reader is given all the theories and facts available While there’s no way to say with absolute surety that the author’s hypothesis is correct it comes the closest to being a reasonable and logical explanation of the colonization or re colonization of CanaanRecent archaeological evidence for the indigenous origins of the Israelites is overwhelming So much so that many Biblical scholars now believe the Exodus story to be an origin myth The only remaining uestion is where within Canaan did the Israelites originate